Sunday, December 31, 2017

Mario Testino / Women II

Emma Stone photographed by Mario Testino for Vogue, July 2012
Emma Stone

Mario Testino

Blake Lively photographed by Mario Testino for Vogue, February 2009
Blake Lively
Blake Lively

Carolyn Murphy and Matthias Schoenaerts by Mario Testino for American Vogue December 2012
Carolyn Murphy

Jennifer Lopez Photographed by Mario Testino 2012
Jennifer López

Cameron Diaz Photographed by Mario Testino 2009
Cameron Díaz
Carmen Kass by Mario Testino for Vogue UK May 2012
Carmen Kass

 Keira  Knightley
 Keira  Knightley

 Keira  Knightley
 Keira  Knightley

 Keira  Knightley

Linda Evangelista
Jaquetta Wheeler

The Book of Dust Vol 1 / La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman review / Worth the wait

The Book of Dust Vol 1: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman review – worth the wait

In Pullman’s longed-for return to the world of His Dark Materials, two children battle to protect baby Lyra as enchanted allegory combines with a retelling of the Biblical story of the flood

Marina Warner
Thu 19 Oct ‘17 00.01 BST

Philip Pullman is the living heir of Lewis Carroll and George MacDonald and, yes, CS Lewis – in spite of Lewis being his chief bugbear, whom he attacks furiously for his religiosity and misanthropy. While JK Rowling carried on the tradition of jolly school adventures and gripping supernatural yarns, he has chosen the pilgrim road of fantastic metaphysical allegory, and his new book nods to Spenser’s The Faerie Queene in the same way as His Dark Materials took on Milton and Paradise Lost. In this longed-for opening volume of the new trilogy, Pullman faces his lineage without apology: his young heroine is even called Alice, and the story follows her as she is swept down the Thames in the eponymous canoe of the hero, Malcolm. But whereas the Thames offered Carroll’s Alice an idyllic, pastoral meander, a very contemporary apocalypse explodes around this older Alice.

The best children’s books of 2017

 Luscious ... one of Emily Sutton’s illustrations for Katherine Rundell’s One Christmas Wish.

The best children’s books of 2017

Whatever their age, kids will be engaged and inspired by this year’s diverse offerings

Illustration by Matt Blease

Imogen Russell Williams
Sat 2 Dec ‘17 07.30 GMT

Age 0-4

Katinka’s Tail by Judith Kerr
From the beloved creator of Mog and The Tiger Who Came to Tea, this feline adventure – featuring the snow-white Katinka and her unusual tail – will enthral toddlers with its gentle, gold‑flecked domesticity.
Pick a Pine Tree by Patricia Toht
Illustrated by Jarvis (Walker)
Anticipation builds throughout this rhyming, ritual account of choosing and bedecking a tree. Everyone in the blocky, soft-glowing images is beaming, from people to pets to plump Santa ornaments; by the end of the book, readers will be, too.
Mopoke by Philip Bunting
In a series of splendid visual/verbal jokes, a mopoke (or southern boobook owl) is denied the peace he craves – until, refusing to be a snowpoke, a slowpoke or a glowpoke any longer, he takes to the wing, leaving Nopoke.

Frog lords ... The Twelve Days of Christmas, illustrated by Anna Wright. Photograph: Faber

Illustrated by Anna Wright (Faber)
Gorgeously gilded, darkly leafy and understatedly humorous, this richly textured version of a well-loved carol features frog lords a-leaping and woodpecker drummers, as well as partridges, pears and calling birds in ink, watercolour and collage.

Age 5-8

One Christmas Wish by Katherine Rundell
lllustrated by Emily Sutton (Bloomsbury)
Costa shortlistee Rundell’s first foray into younger fiction is a witty story of a lonely boy, four mischievous tree decorations and a wish on an unlikely star, complemented perfectly by Sutton’s intricate, luscious illustrations.
Fairy Tales by Hilary McKay
Illustrated by Sarah Gibb (Macmillan)
Via enthralling framing narratives, deft twists and thought-provoking details, McKay renews classic tales – including The Twelve Dancing Princesses and Rumpelstiltskin – in this sumptuous collection, enriched by Gibb’s evocative black-and-white line drawings.

Colourful ... a Harry Bloom illustration for David Long’s Pirates Magnified. Photograph: PR

Pirates Magnified by David Long
Illustrated by Harry Bloom (Wide-Eyed)
An absorbing non-fiction variation on the search-and-find trend, this treasure chest of pirates’ lives, skills, ships and booty boasts a 3x magnifying glass (incorporated ingeniously into the cover), a rogues’ gallery and a pirate-slang glossary. Hoist the mizzen!
A is for Art by Paul Thurlby
Amid a plethora of art-focused children’s non-fiction, Thurlby’s alphabetical guide – an introduction to the National Gallery and to many artists, techniques and movements – stands out for its demystifying enthusiasm, bold, cheerful design and inspiring sense of possibility.
The Story Orchestra: The Nutcracker by Jessica Courtney-Tickle
(Frances Lincoln)
Beautifully designed and vividly illustrated, this mouth-watering musical book contextualises excerpts of Tchaikovsky’s ballet music within a sugarplum-sweet retelling of the story.

Age 8-12

The World of Moominvalley by Philip Ardagh
Illustrated by Tove Jansson (Macmillan)
Bound in celestial blue and gold, featuring a foreword by Frank Cottrell-Boyceand Tove Jansson’s glorious illustrations throughout, Ardagh’s weighty, witty, carefully curated guide to the Moomins, their friends, their philosophies and their habitats – as well as the life of their mysterious creator – offers hours of browsing to aficionados young and old.
Illegal by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin
Illustrated by Giovanni Rigano (Hodder)
Twelve-year-old Ebo’s journey from his village in north Africa, following in his siblings’ wake, brings him to a dangerous Mediterranean crossing in this arresting graphic novel. Full of contrasts – cold sea and scorching desert, small kindnesses and casual cruelty, hope and sorrow – it tells the stories behind the blunt headline statistics.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling, illustrated by Jim Kay.

Illustrated by Jim Kay (Bloomsbury)
Harry’s third adventure at Hogwarts is reinvigorated by Jim Kay’s superb painterly images. From the crepuscular grandeur of the towering Knight Bus to the dappled, strokable feathers of Buckbeak the hippogriff, his work invests Rowling’s world with yet another layer of magic.

(Chicken House)
Amihan has lived all her life on the island of Culion, where many people have leprosy – including Ami’s mother. It is a place of joy, however, until harsh authority descends, parting families and uprooting children. Shortlisted for the Costa award, Milwood Hargrave’s second novel is original, poignant and saturated with a sense of wild nature.

Age 12+

The Book of Dust Vol 1: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman

Pullman’s long-awaited return to the world of His Dark Materials is, at times, dark indeed. As Malcolm Polstead, 11-year-old landlord’s son, and Alice Parslow, 15-year-old potwasher, convey the baby Lyra Belacqua down a flooded river in Malcolm’s canoe, the threats in their wake are fierce and frightening (and Alice’s language, in particular, unparliamentary). To the reader immersed in it, whatever their age, it affords the enjoyment of watching a master storyteller at work.

Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls
Nicholls’ compelling narrative follows Evelyn, groomed for marriage over study; May, the free-thinking daughter of a Quaker; and Nell, the tough, capable mainstay of her poor family. All of them will fight for the right to vote, but, as the spectre of war grows ever closer, what will they sacrifice – and what will be taken from them? An unforgettable historical novel.

A standout debut, this US novel is the Black Lives Matter-inspired story of Starr Carter, whose friend Khalil is shot dead by a police officer as she watches – and whose divided life is jolted out of kilter in the fallout. Full of evocative detail and wry humour, with a charismatic narrator, it reads like a canonical text.

Satellite by Nick Lake
Leo was born in space, living all his life on space station Moon 2 with fellow space-children Libra and Orion. Now, at 15, he is almost due to go to Earth for the first time, but more awaits him there than his grandfather’s ranch and the experiences he has been promising himself. Told in Leo’s abbreviated, allusive diction, this is extraordinary science fiction, as diverse and humane as Iain M Banks at his best.

Ice Age Paradise / An interview with Sienna Dahlen

Ice Age Paradise

An interview with Sienna Dahlen

2 NOVEMBER 2016, 

I met Sienna Dahlen on a hot summer night in Padua during her tour in Italy this past spring where she was promoting her latest album, Ice Age Paradise. She did an intimate showcase at Ca Sana but was disappointed that she hadn't had the chance to see Venice. She told the story of her father who fell in love with this unique place in the world and she sang a song called, Venezia which was written by her father and appears as a duet with him on Sienna's latest album.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

The passing scene of 2017

Saturday, December 30, 2017
Every year I comment on how quickly the year has gone, and 2017 is no different. My children are getting older, my bones are aching more, and my heart goes out to all of the stars and celebrities we have lost in the fading year. Here are just some of the notable artists that we lost in 2017...

Mary Tyler Moore

Actress MARY TYLER MOORE died on January 25th at the age of 80. She known for her roles in the television sitcoms The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970–1977), in which she starred as Mary Richards, a single woman working as a local news producer in Minneapolis, and The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961–1966), in which she played Laura Petrie, a former dancer turned homemaker, wife and mother. Her film work includes 1967's Thoroughly Modern Millie and 1980's Ordinary People, in which she played a role that was very different from the television characters she had portrayed, and for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. Due to her roles on both The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Dick Van Dyke Show, in which her characters often broke from stereotypical images of women and pushed gender norms, Moore became a cultural icon and served as an inspiration for many younger actresses, professional women, and feminists. She was later active in charity work and various political causes, particularly the issues of animal rights, vegetarianism and diabetes. She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes early in the run of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She also suffered from alcoholism, which she wrote about in her first of two memoirs. In May 2011, Moore underwent elective brain surgery to remove a benign meningioma.

Director GEORGE ROMERO died on July 16th at the age of 77. He was best known for his series of gruesome and satirical horror films about an imagined zombie apocalypse, beginning with Night of the Living Dead (1968). Other films in the series include Dawn of the Dead (1978) and Day of the Dead (1985). Aside from the Dead series, his works include The Crazies (1973), Martin (1978), Creepshow (1982), Monkey Shines (1988), The Dark Half (1993) and Bruiser (2000). He also created and executive-produced the television series Tales from the Darkside (1983–1988). Romero is often noted as an influential pioneer of the horror film genre, and the "Father of the Zombie Film

Singer and comedian JIM NABORS died on November 30th at the age of 86. Nabors was discovered by Andy Griffith while working at the Santa Monica nightclub The Horn, and he later joined The Andy Griffith Show as Gomer Pyle. Betty Lynn, Elinor Donahue, and Ron Howard are the last surviving regular cast members from that series. The character proved popular, and Nabors was given his own spin-off show Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.He became a popular guest on variety shows which showcased his rich baritone voice in the 1960s and 1970s, including two specials of his own in 1969 and 1974. He subsequently recorded numerous albums and singles, most of them containing romantic ballads.

Singer BEA WAIN died on August 19th at the age of 100. She was an American Big Band-era singer and radio personality born in the Bronx, New York City. She had a number of hits with Larry Clinton and his Orchestra. After her marriage she and her husband became involved in radio, helming a show titled "Mr. and Mrs. Music". Wain had four No. 1 hits: "Cry, Baby, Cry", "Deep Purple", "Heart and Soul", and her signature song, "My Reverie". My Reverie (Victor 26006) stayed at the top of the chart for eight weeks in 1938. Wain was also the first artist to record the Harold Arlen-Yip Harburg classic "Over the Rainbow" (on December 7, 1938, with Clinton's orchestra), but MGM prohibited the release until The Wizard of Oz (1939) had opened and audiences heard Judy Garland perform it. Wain rarely made recordings after she left the Clinton orchestra in 1939, focusing primarily on her work on radio instead.

Actor MIGUEL FERRER died of cancer on January 19th at the age of 61. His breakthrough role was the OCP Vice President Bob Morton in the 1987 film RoboCop. Ferrer's notable television roles include FBI Agent Albert Rosenfield on Twin Peaks (1990–1991, 2017), Dr. Garret Macy on Crossing Jordan (2001–2007) and NCIS Assistant Director Owen Granger on NCIS: Los Angeles (2012–2017). He was the son of actor José Ferrer and singer Rosemary Clooney.

Actress and child star ROSE MARIE died on December 28th at the age of 94. As a child performer, she had a successful singing career as Baby Rose Marie. A veteran of vaudeville, her career included film, radio, records, theater, night clubs and television.She was most widely known for her role as Sally Rogers on the television show The Dick Van Dyke Show from 1961 to 1966.

Jerry Lewis

Comedian and director JERRY LEWIS died on August 20th at the age of 91. He was known for his slapstick humor in film, television, stage and radio. From 1946 to 1956, he and Dean Martin were partners as the hit popular comedy duo of Martin and Lewis. Following that success, he was a solo star in motion pictures, nightclubs, television shows, concerts, album recordings, and musicals. Lewis served as national chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and hosted the live Labor Day weekend broadcast of the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon for 45 years. He received several awards for lifetime achievement from the American Comedy Awards, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Venice Film Festival and Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and was honored with two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Television personality CHUCK BARRIS died at the age of 87 on March 21st. He was an American game show creator, producer, and host. Barris was known for hosting The Gong Show, and creating The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game. He was also a songwriter, who wrote "Palisades Park" for Freddy Cannon.

Singer HARRY PRIME died on June 20th at the age of 97. He was a Big Band vocalist who performed from the late forties through the mid-fifties. Prime was a featured vocalist with the orchestras of Randy Brooks, Tommy Dorsey, and Ralph Flanagan. Prime peformed mostly with Flanagan's band , but his biggest hit was with the Dorsey band and the song "Until" in 1947. He performed until a few months before his death.

The widow of Frank Sinatra, BARBARA SINATRA, died July 25th at the age of 90. A show girl and model, she married Robert Oliver in September 1948 and had a son, Bobby on 10 October 1950. She divorced Oliver in 1952 and married Zeppo Marx on 18 September 1959. That union ended in divorce in 1973. Then she became the fourth and final wife of Frank Sinatra from 1976 until his death in 1998.

Actor MARTIN LANDAU died at the age of 89 on July 15th. His career began in the 1950s, with early film appearances including a supporting role in Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest (1959). He played regular roles in the television series Mission: Impossible (for which he received several Emmy Award nominations. Landau received the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture, as well as his first nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, for his role in Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988); he received his second Oscar nomination for his appearance in Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989). His performance in the supporting role of Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood (1994) earned him an Academy Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Golden Globe Award. He continued to perform in film and television, and headed the Hollywood branch of the Actors Studio until his death in July.

Fats Domino

Singer FATS DOMINO died at the age of 89 on October 24th. Fats was a pioneer of early rock n roll, and had countless hits including: "Blueberry Hill", "Ain't That A Shame", and "My Girl Josephine". Five of his records released before 1955 sold over a million copies and were certified as gold records, and he had 35 records in the U.S. Billboard Top 40. Fats retired in 2007.

Comedian and social activist DICK GREGORY died at the age of 84 on August 19th. Gregory was a comedian, civil rights activist, social critic, writer, entrepreneur, conspiracy theorist, and occasional actor. During the turbulent 1960s, Gregory became a pioneer in stand-up comedy for his "no-holds-barred" sets, in which he mocked bigotry and racism. He performed primarily to black audiences at segregated clubs until 1961, when he became the first black comedian to successfully cross over to white audiences, appearing on television and putting out comedy record albums

Actress and former child star ERIN MORAN died of lung cancer at the age of 56 on April 22nd. She was best known for her role as Joannie Cunningham on the television series Happy Days (1974-1984) and the spinoff Joanie Loves Chachi (1982-1983). 

Singer CHUCK BERRY died on March 18th at the age of 90. Berry was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. With songs such as "Maybellene" (1955), "Roll Over Beethoven" (1956), "Rock and Roll Music" (1957) and "Johnny B. Goode" (1958), Berry refined and developed rhythm and blues into the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive. Writing lyrics that focused on teen life and consumerism, and developing a music style that included guitar solos and showmanship, Berry was a major influence on subsequent rock music.

Actress BARBARA HALE died at the age of 94 on January 26th. She was best known for her role as legal secretary Della Street on more than 270 episodes of the long-running Perry Mason television series from 1957 to 1966, earning her a 1959 Emmy Award as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. She reprised the role in 30 Perry Mason movies for television. Her movie roles included: Jolson Sings Again (1949) and The Boy With The Green Hair (1949) among others.

Della Reese

Singer and actress DELLA REESE died on November 19th at the age of 86. Reese's long career began as a singer, scoring a hit with her 1959 single "Don't You Know?". In the late 1960s, she hosted her own talk show, Della, which ran for 197 episodes. She also starred in films beginning in 1975, including playing opposite Redd Foxx in Harlem Nights (1989), Martin Lawrence in A Thin Line Between Love and Hate (1996) and Elliott Gould in Expecting Mary (2010). She achieved continuing success in the television religious supernatural drama Touched by an Angel (1994–2003).

Singer and band leader BUDDY GRECO died on January 10th at the age of 90. Greco was an American jazz and pop singer and pianist, who had a long career in the US and UK and was good friends with the Rat Pack. His recordings, in several genres including jazz, pop, and country, have sold millions of records, including "Oh Look A-There Ain't She Pretty", "Up, Up and Away" and "Around the World".

Actor ADAM WEST died on June 9, 2017 at the age of 88. He was widely known for his role as Batman in the 1960s ABC series of the same name, its 1966 theatrical feature film and two animated feature films Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders (2016) and Batman vs. Two-Face (2017) (The second one being his final work and released posthumously). He performed voice work on The Fairly OddParents (2001), The Simpsons (1992, 2002), and Family Guy (2000-2017), playing fictional versions of himself in all three.

Actress and socialite DINA MERRILL died at the age of 93 on May 22nd. Merrill's film credits included Desk Set (1957), A Nice Little Bank That Should Be Robbed (1958), Don't Give Up the Ship (1959), Operation Petticoat (1959, with Cary Grant, who had been married to her cousin, Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton), The Sundowners (1960), Butterfield 8(1960), The Young Savages (1961), The Courtship of Eddie's Father (1963), I'll Take Sweden (1965), The Greatest (1977), A Wedding (1978), Just Tell Me What You Want (1980), Anna to the Infinite Power (1983), Twisted(1986), Caddyshack II (1988), Fear (1990), True Colors (1991), The Player (1992), Suture (1993) and Shade (2003). She was more famous as a socialite than a move star in latter years.

Bandleader LARRY ELGART died on August 29th at the age of 95. With his brother Les (1917-1995), Larry recorded "Bandstand Boogie", the theme to the long-running dance show American Bandstand. While young Larry played with jazz musicians such as Charlie Spivak, Woody Herman, Red Norvo, Freddie Slack and Tommy Dorsey.

Bill Paxton

Actor BILL PAXTON died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 61 on Feburary 25th. Paxton appeared in numerous films like The Terminator(1984), Weird Science (1985), Aliens (1986), Predator 2 (1990), Tombstone(1993), True Lies (1994), Apollo 13 (1995), Twister (1996), Titanic (1997), U-571 (2000), Edge of Tomorrow (2014), and Nightcrawler (2014). Paxton also starred in the HBO drama series Big Love (2006–11). In 2013, he received an Emmy Award nomination for his performance in the miniseries Hatfields & McCoys.

Comedian DON RICKLES died on April 6th at the age of 90. was an American stand-up comedian, actor, and author. He became well known as an insult comic, but his pudgy, balding appearance and pugnacious style led to few leading roles in film or television. His prominent film roles included Run Silent, Run Deep (1958) with Clark Gable and Kelly's Heroes (1970) with Clint Eastwood. He later voiced Mr. Potato Head in the Toy Storyfranchise. He won a Primetime Emmy Award for the 2007 documentary Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project.

Singer KEELY SMITH died on December 16th at the age of 89. She was a Grammy Award-winning American jazz and popular music singer, who performed and recorded extensively in the 1950s with then-husband Louis Prima, and throughout the 1960s as a solo artist. She was married to Louis Prima from 1953 to 1961, and together they scored a major it with their record of "That Old Black Magic" from 1958.

Actor ROBERT GUILLAUME died on October 24th at the age of 89. He was known for his role as Isaac Jaffe on Sports Night (1998-2002) and as Benson on the TV series Soap (1977-1981) and the spin-off Benson (1979-1986) as well as for voicing the mandrill Rafiki in The Lion King.(1994). In a career that spanned more than 50 years he worked extensively on stage, television and film. For his efforts he was nominated for a Tony Award for his portrayal of Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls, and twice won an Emmy Award for his portrayal of the character Benson DuBois, once in 1979 on Soap and in 1985 on Benson. He also won a Grammy Award in 1995 for his spoken word performance of a audiobook version of The Lion King.

Actor ROGER MOORE died at the age of 89 on May 23rd. Sir Roger Moore was an English actor. He is best known for having played secret agent James Bond (Ian Fleming)  in seven feature films from 1973 to 1985. He also played Simon Templar in the television series The Saint from 1962 to 1969 and Lord Brett Sinclair in The Persuaders! from 1971 to 1972. Moore took over the role of Bond from Sean Connery in 1972, and made his first appearance as 007 in Live and Let Die (1973). The longest serving Bond, he went on to portray the spy in six more films